I love that there are still some people in this world that manage to change their bits of universe for the better. One of these determined people is Don Rigoberto Zamora Charuc, director and founder of Probigua. I’ve told you about Probigua before and my experience in Antigua working for them. Besides being an Academy of Spanish Studies in Antigua, Probigua is a non profit organisation that does more for guatemaltecos than their own government, some say. This year they are celebrating 25 years of existence and work in the field of education in Guatemala.
The results are impressive:
-12 schools built
-16 libraries added to schools that had no such facilities
-2 bibliobuses or library buses that travel on a specific schedule in many of the villages and communities so that the children have access to books at least for some hours every 2 weeks.
Taking advantage of a talented student’s presence in the school, Zach Martinez, Don Rigoberto suggested we do a video presentation of Probigua’s efforts. It was lovely visiting many of the communities they have been working in, taking interviews, interacting with the children, teachers, librarians and volunteers from all over the country. I can’t wait to see Zach’s hard work in putting together all the bits and parts of these colourful lives we’ve witnessed.
In Nahuala, the children had no desks or seats, they were sitting on concrete blocks from construction sites, on pieces of wood or simply on the floor. We broght 350 desks to their school and they were so happy and grateful! They had a ceremony prepared so that we can see a bit of their traditions they follow during La cuaresma (the 40 days before Easter time). Also, we heard live marimba thanks to a band that came to greet us.
San Pedro Yepocapa. This is where it all started back in the year 1989. With his brother, Luis Pedro Zamora Charuc, Don Rigoberto opened the first library in the entire rural area of Chimaltenango. Where? In their own house. The people were so surprised. Many wanted to buy the books, not knowing how a library actually works.
We went visiting this community and found out Probigua has built a wonderful school for the children here. So colourful and happy! We interrupted their schedule to tell them about Probigua and its celebration. Don Rigoberto took the lead. He presented us, students: Lori viene de Rumania, Zach de los Estados Unidos. Thanks to these past weeks of studying Spanish with Gladys, I was able to hold a 10 minute motivational speech about the importance of education and the great opportunity the students have when such a blessing comes upon them. Let me make it clear, I was on a stage, with a microphone, in front of all the students of the school. I said mint instead of mind once, but otherwise, not many funny errors (menta y mente). Multi-talented Zach also prepared some songs for his audience and the kids loved him! At the end they came running towards us only to ask us more about our origins, our countries or other cultural differences.
I love this country. If you guys want to help Probigua continue its fantastic work in Guatemala, you can do it here.